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Wong ready to make AD recommendation to NMU Board of Trustees on Friday

May 2, 2012
By MATT WELLENS - Journal Sports Editor ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Northern Michigan University President Les Wong will present his recommendation for the next director of Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreational Sports to the NMU Board of Trustees during a closed session on Friday morning inside Cohodas Hall on the Northern campus.

Wong was putting the final touches on his recommendation - which he wouldn't reveal - Tuesday and trusts the board will make a "speedy decision."

"They know that there is some urgency," Wong said. "They also want to be careful about it, too."

If approved, Wong will extend a formal job offer Friday afternoon to either University of Alaska Fairbanks Director of Athletics Forrest Karr, University of North Dakota Senior Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs Sean Johnson,or David Diles, the director of athletics and chair of the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Wong said he expects a response to the offer would come no later than Monday, if not Friday when he makes the initial call considering the time that has passed since all three visited Marquette. Each gave a public presentation during a two-week span in April, starting with Karr on April 10. Diles followed on April 17 and Johnson presented on April 19.

Wong consulted with the co-chairs of the search committee - NMU athletic department NCAA faculty representative Julie Rochester and Dr. Jon Webb of Downtown Eye Care in Marquette - a final time last week to discuss the committee's final thoughts.

He also reached out to the Wildcat coaching staffs, as well as the members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

"Everyone was confident the last three people are good people," Wong said.

One of the more useful tools Wong found during the decision making process was the feedback from the community through the athletic department website.

Wong said he went through every submission, which included input from Blue Line Club members, Wildcat Club members and season ticket holders, among other stakeholders in the athletic department.

"It was very comprehensive," Wong said. "When you get that much input, themes emerge for candidates. That was the beauty of throwing the net out real wide."

Matt Wellens can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 252.



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